A Quick Answer to Getting Good at Drawing

I’m on several sites and hear so many of peeps say you’d love to “draw like so-and-so.”
So, here is what I wrote in response to this on a site this morning, and they liked it and asked if I would post it where they could share it.

What holds most people back is not a lack of talent, though some are just born with a good dose of that.   Mine is training… practice… classes…

  1.  Comparing. You have to train yourself, so stop being critical.  Internal editors are necessary for many things, but not when you are learning, and NOT when creativity or your muse has to be in charge.  Turn the monkey mind OFF.  Instead, enjoy the feel and sound of pen on paper, and make lots of marks if nothing else. Become a child who likes the new toy — all of us should be able to relate to that cuz we all love fountain pens! Crosshatching, circles, doodles, if you can’t think of anything to draw then practice marks which lead to sketches.
  2. Practice.  And before you say you have no time, you do.  As a writer I learned to grease the wheels with 15-20 minutes a day no matter what.  As a designer/drawing/artist I did the same, with pencil or pen (watercolors take a bit more).  I adore my sketchbooks (and now I am brave enough to share most of the pages with you guys), messy messy places, because often I am doing whatever I can do in 15 minutes to keep my hand in even when I am overwhelmed with whatever.

    I had two goals besides work from October-November, to get my cards up for sale and to take a class. So working 60 hours weeks in our business toward a deadline and only 15 minutes and a goal I did Inktober (see my last little book finished below). It was fun and relaxing. Hearts, stars, and literally 15 minutes. Get a sketching journal or use whatever you carry and do it when you are waiting for appointments instead of looking at IG or Facebook.

  3. Have things ready to draw.  As a writer, I had a list of things to write about in the back of my writing journal in case I got stuck. Practice in writing was write without editing for 20 minutes to warm up. Stream of consciousness. So with drawing, have a stack of images next to your space or on your phone ready to go. pick on, and that should take less than a minute. IT DOESN’T MATTER. Just draw it.

    BTW, there is also the Sktchy ap for your phone — then you always have something to draw with you!  Pop some fun things in your file so you just do whatever is in that file!

  4. Look at the thing you are drawing more than the paper you are drawing on… MOST people look at their paper.  Artists look at what they are drawing, and just glance at the paper.  Learn to look.  Drawing on vacations you never forget things you drew!

That was my writing exercise this morning.  Timer just went off and then I cleaned it up where my dyslexia got in the way of your reading it!  Off to work!

To hear about classes, follow me on Facebook
or check out my new, improved dkatiepowellart.com

About dkatiepowellart

hollywood baby turned beach gurl turned steel&glass city gurl turned cowgurl turned herb gurl turned green city gurl. . . artist writer photographer. . . cat lover but misses our big dogs, gone to heaven. . . buddhist and interested in the study of spiritual traditions. . . foodie, organic, lover of all things mik, partner in conservation business mpfconservation, consummate blogger, making a dream happen, insomniac who is either reading buddhist teachings or not-so-bloody mysteries or autobio journal thangs early in the morning when i can't sleep
This entry was posted in art journal, creativity, drawing, ink painting, journal, painting, pen & ink, process, sketchbook, watercolor, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to A Quick Answer to Getting Good at Drawing

  1. joey says:

    Good advice. I especially like the idea of listening to the paper and feeling the marks. I used to draw, and I took pleasure in it. I know if you don’t use it, you lose it, cause I’m not so good anymore. HOWEVER, one day I will have more time to play, and I will enjoy it again, maybe even get better. I have ‘ability’ whereas you have talent. So much talent! 😀


  2. Dan Antion says:

    Thanks for the nudge, Kate.


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